C4 BROADCAST 3.10 THE LINCOLN LIVE FROM DONCASTER RACECOURSE
WINNER: SWEET LIGHTNING 6 9-4 16/1 partner JOHNNY MURTAGH handler EMMA WINTER trainer Michael Dods for Andrew Tinkler breeder Mrs M Lavell
The favourite TAQLEED 4 8-9 withdrawn by trainer JOHN GOSDEN for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum due to the poor condition of Doncaster’s turf track.
RACING POST JON LEES REPORTS ON MONDAY APRIL 4 2011
“Doncaster clerk vows to restore racing surface writes Jon Lees“Doncaster clerk of the course Jon Pullin yesterday pledged to do all he could to restore the racing surface to its former standard as he accepted it looked ‘as bad as it has for a number of years’ during the William Hill Lincoln meeting.
“Lincoln favourite TAQUEED was withdrawn on Saturday because trainer John Gosden said the track was bare and contained a lot of sand, while Ryan Moore described it as ‘the worst I’ve ever seen here.’
“Pullin himself wasn’t happy with the state of the track but blamed a challenging winter, when snow and a long period of freezing temperatures killed much of the grass. The weather since hadn’t produced conditions in which it could recover satisfactorily.
‘I was up front in expressing my concern about the grass cover and yesterday was the first chance people really had to see it. The issues have been weather-related. We had the first frosts a fortnight after the November Handicap. That was followed by snow, which covered the track for three weeks.
“ We had temperatures in December consistently below zero, 21 days when it got to as low as -15C, and it killed the grass. When I arrived at the end of January we had a track with a lot of dead grass on it.
“We’ve done everything we can to try to stimulate growth but we’ve not had the weather on our side. Even in March we had just 5mm of rain, three of which fell in the last week. We watered to promote grass growth ten days before the Lincoln and finished on Monday.
"Friday was the first day the soil temperature had been consistent day and night to promote growth. We had frost on Monday and Tuesday. I spoke to Ryan before and after he’d ridden and accepted his comments. It doesn’t look good and it’s probably as bad as it’s looked for a number of years. Ryan did say after he had ridden in the first that it rode better than it looked.
"We’ll start work first thing tomorrow morning to get back to the great reputation that Doncaster has. “